I have been part of a preacher’s family all of my life. I grew up with the privilege of my father being a gospel preacher. Nine months after our marriage, my husband decided to devote his life to being a full-time gospel preacher. More recently, he decided to focus on foreign missions, so in 2007 my husband and I, along with our four children, moved to Tanzania, East Africa.
My husband and I are a team. However, with any team, there must be a leader, and God has assigned the husband to fulfill this role (Eph. 5:23). He understands that his decisions greatly affect the rest of the family, and he continually demonstrates thoughtful consideration to making decisions that will be the most beneficial for us spiritually. He values my input, and asks for it frequently. He is the head of our home. My work in Tanzania is the same as it was in the United States. I am a help meet to my husband; a keeper at home (Tit. 2:5). This has been God’s design from the beginning (Gen. 2:18). Therefore, my work is to help my husband be the best missionary he can be.
God, in his infinite wisdom, designed the family structure to be universally applicable. God expects husbands and wives in Africa to follow the same biblical pattern as he does of husbands and wives in the United States. For good or for evil, missionary families will make an impact on the culture in which they live, through their example as a family, including the roles that each family member assumes. If we want to make a positive impact on those people with whom we are sharing the gospel, we must also be role models for the family as God has designed it.